Jaguar Land Rover posts record profit

Jaguar Land Rover has posted its biggest-ever profits. The luxury car maker said pre-tax profits grew from £1.1 billion (R14.3 billion) last year - the previous record - to £1.51 billion (R205.5 billion)

Jaguar Land Rover's owner, the Indian industrial conglomerate Tata, said the increase in profits was due in part to a 76 percent rise in Chinese sales to 50 994 and the worldwide popularity of the new Range Rover Evoque. But the car maker also saw growth in Europe - despite the ongoing euro crisis. Russian and German sales increased by 38.1 percent and 22.3 percent, respectively.

The Range Rover Evoque, with a little help from Victoria Beckham, has helped Jaguar Land Rover achieve record profits.

Meanwhile, the group said France saw a 57.4 percent jump in sales, while surprisingly even Spain was up 18.1 percent, despite the recession in the country.

Chief executive Ralf Speth said the result reflected continued consumer confidence in the two brands.

“These record earnings, driven by strong product demand and operating efficiencies, give Jaguar Land Rover the financial impetus to sustain its ongoing investment programme.”

To keep up with demand, Jaguar Land Rover is considering expanding all three of its UK plants, at Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull, and is building a new engine factory in Wolverhampton.

It also plans to produce cars in China for that market. Overall, the strong performance of Jaguar Land Rover helped boost Tata Motors' first quarter profits. Tata made a profit of about £700 million (R2.1 billion) in the first quarter of 2012, despite falling car sales on the Indian sub-continent. - The Independent